Dado (architecture)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Diagram of a wall illustrating the crown molding (top), dado rail (middle) and the skirting board (lower).

In architectural parlance, the dado is the lower part of a wall,[1] below the dado rail and above the skirting board. The word is borrowed from Italian meaning "die" (as an architectural term) or plinth.

Decorative treatment[edit]

This area is dramatically given a decorative treatment different from that for the upper part of the wall; for example panelling, wainscoting or lincrusta. The purpose of the dado treatment to a wall is twofold: historically, the panelling below the dado rail was installed to cover the lower part of the wall, which was subject to stains associated with rising damp; additionally the dado rail (also known as the chair rail) provided protection from furniture, in particular the backs of chairs. In modern homes, the dado treatment is generally aesthetic.


The name derives from the architectural term for the part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dado - definition". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved March 10, 2013.